Wednesday, March 30, 2016

My Bowtie Collection

First--it's a finish!

Bowtie Buddies is finished! Hooray! Barbie Vanderfleet-Martin from our guild long-arm quilted it for me and I love the way it turned out.

I've been experimenting with my photos now that I have a new computer but these all look a little dark to me even after being "enhanced." 

The back. 

 And the label with the mini-bowties :) So cute!

This is a little quilt I made in 1983 and finished in 1990. I wanted to try Prairie Points.

The back with those 'so identifiable' 70s fabrics!

A detail of the quilt I made for my granddaughter in 2003 . . . 

. . . and another of my grandson's quilt the same year. 

I quilted this top last fall and donated it to our historical society for a holiday fundraiser.

Uh-oh, there may be an orphan block quilt in my future.

And the real thing :)

Happy quilting!

Copyright 2015, Barbara Schaffer

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

From Winter to Spring, Hooked Rug & Yo-Yo Coverlet

There was a big transition this weekend from freezing cold temps in Lake Placid to snow in NJ to daffodils blooming and a hawk visiting. 

Considering there wasn't much snow in the Adirondacks this winter, Whiteface Mountain managed to stay open--but barely! Temps were in the low teens this past weekend.

The view from the Lake Placid Olympic Center where we spent much of our time watching our grandson play hockey in the Can Am Tournament. 

And when you spend a lot of time in a hockey rink you get to watch the Zamboni resurface the ice. Ever see one painted to look like an SUV with a mountain in the background??

And speaking of mountains this is an early morning sunrise taken from our deck. It really looks like it could be fall instead of winter. Do you see the reflection in the water?  


Back home in NJ it snowed a little Monday morning . . .

. . .  and these poor daffodils were in need of some sunshine to perk them up. 


A Broad-Winged Hawk stayed still long enough for me to take some pics through the dining room window. Such a cute face but when he's around the little birds screech and scramble for cover :)


I did get to spend some time working on this little hooked rug. It's coming along but I'm not thrilled with it. First, had I noticed the design was too close to the border on the left I would have made an adjustment; second, not all the strips are cut from felted wool so they fray. Such a disappointment! I'll finish it but will not order from this person again.

How many yo-yos are in this huge coverlet? See below for the answer. 

Years ago someone at a NJ quilt show was giving this away so I volunteered to take it, lol!    

Copyright 2016, Barbara Schaffer

And----the answer is 2,594! I can't imagine making that many, can you?

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

My 2nd Gr-Grandfather, James McCord

My maternal 2nd gr-grandfather, James McCord died in 1898 and is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx. He is one of the reasons I've been working on the Woodlawn Cemetery Project for the past year and a half. 

This photo was taken in 1862 when he enlisted in the Civil War at age 24. He was assigned to Company C, 6th Regiment Heavy Artillery New York State Volunteers for a term of 3 years. Thurs. 3/17: Thank you, Barbara B. Your photoshop magic made a big difference!

He carried this small Bible throughout the war. It has his signature on the inside of both the front and back covers. There are also several Bible verses written by 'Eliza' and 'Martha' but I haven't been able to identify their relationship to him, if any.

The Muster Rolls of his service cover the period September 1862 to June 1865. When the Jan/Feb 1863 roll was taken James was "sick in quarters." Other bits of information gleaned from these records are: he paid a bounty of $25, still owing $75 at the time of discharge; he was last paid October 31, 1864 and had drawn $122 from his Clothing Account.

He was promoted to Full Sergeant Major in April 1865 and was mustered out two months later on June 28th in Petersburg, VA. I was curious about his uniform. Here's what I found: 

Hat: Enlisted man's hat of black felt; insignia of branch of service in brass with the number of the regiment and letter of company arranged over the insignia.

Sash: Sergeant Major--red worsted bullion fringe ends; to go twice around the waist, and to tie behind the left hip; "Officers of the Day" wear the sash across the body, scarf fashion, from the right shoulder to the left side, instead of around the waist as prescribed. 

James came home from the Civil War with this folded lithograph in his pocket. It is the Military Register of Company C where his name is listed under 'Sergeants' in the center section.

He was only 5'5" tall, with a light complexion, gray eyes, brown hair and a mustache. He is the short one in the back row (3rd from left). According to the 1870 & 1880 census records his occupation was 'carpenter.' At the time of his death he was a foreman.  

In 1880 the Order of United American Mechanics presented James with a Bible. Through the years births, marriages, and deaths were recorded by his wife, Maria Miller McCord, as well as his granddaughter, my great-aunt Leila. There were lots of photos, too, mostly of the Miller side of the family.

James was found dead on March 17, 1898 at 1399 Fulton St. in the Bronx. Cause of death was apoplexy, known today as a stroke. He was 58 years old.


He is buried in the NY Grand Army of the Republic's Oliver Tilden Post plot at Woodlawn Cemetery. There are 17 other civil war soldiers interred there, not all have markers:  Gottfried A Kretchmar, Henry Brooks, Thomas Ott, George A. Hafner, Adam Schwartz, John Steiner, Edward Brosche, Charles C. Stevens, William Price, Benjamin F. Demuth, William Spear, Valentine Felker, Peter Schneider, John. H. Wallace, William E. Raines, John W. Smith and George Gade. 

Aunt Leila was so proud when her grandfather's $12.00 government headstone was delivered by railroad and erected over his grave. She took these pictures many years ago:)

Copyright 2016, Barbara Schaffer

Friday, March 11, 2016

What's New?

What's NEW? My computer for one! Yes, my old one barely made it to the Geek Squad to have my files transferred. Don't you just love learning the ins and outs of a new computer??

I do have a few more things to share though . . .  

A couple of months ago I bought this book at the Library book sale. 

This little Brick Wall quilt caught my eye. 

I had enough leftover indigo and shirting prints from the Stars In A Time Warp quiltalong so started cutting strips.

The instructions were easy to follow after I figured out the placement of the fabrics at the top. You need to alternate two rows beginning with lights and then two rows of darks. Does that make sense?

I did simple (very simple!) machine quilting in diagonal rows on the light-colored bricks only. 

Ta-da! I decided to call the piece "Step On Up!"

The amaryllis we received as a Christmas gift is finally blooming and it is gorgeous!

It was 30 deg outside when I spotted these flowers in my garden. They're called Winter Aconite and I have no idea how they got there, lol!

A 'shroom that looks like a brain?? I have 4 of them in the backyard. 

I'm on a cleaning-out binge and found two records which brought back childhood memories . . . 

Hopalong Cassidy is one . . . 

And Gene Autry is the other. I loved his rendition of Peter Cottontail. 

A new quilt shop is opening just minutes from my house. I can't wait! Thanks Rachel for forwarding this info :)

And finally, take another look at the Quintal Vases quilt on my Quilt Fest Part 1 post. You may already be familiar with the maker, Becky Brown, as she does the sample blocks on Barbara Brackman's Civil War Quilts blog including Stars In a Time Warp and currently Westering Women :) 

Happy Spring!

Copyright 2016, Barbara Schaffer


Sunday, March 6, 2016

Quilt Fest NJ Part 2

There was a special exhibit at the show by Pieced Together Quilters of Bridgewater, NJ, who challenged members to make their version of Aunt Lucy's Medallion Quilt designed by Lori Smith. 

Carolyn Russo made her I Love Lucy quilt to learn new methods of piecing half square triangle units. 

Betsy Schneekloth used reproduction fabrics for her I Love Lucy quilt which is destined to hang in her husband's office.

Aunt Lucy's Jewel Box by Carol Dreitlein was a "great learning experience of different tools and techniques; mostly patience and perseverance." Turquoise and amethyst are her favorite colors.

Aunt Lucy Goes Green by Nancy Jane Hollasch who wanted the quilt to hang in her loft and chose the colors to go with her furniture.

Lucy Meets Mary by Susan McDermott quilted by Olga Buturova. Susan says she "did not follow the pattern very well. I named the quilt after a pioneer in women's education."

Go where no one else will go.
Do what no one else will do.

Mary Lyon, founder
Mount Holyoke College 1837 

Great job ladies! 

Copyright 2016, Barbara Schaffer

Friday, March 4, 2016

Quilt Fest NJ Part 1

Yesterday Rachel, Dawn and I met at Quilt Fest where we got our "quilt fix" and then some :) Here are some favorites:

Crazy Quilters Quilt Guild of Lehigh Valley, PA, was selling raffle tickets for this beautiful Flower Garden quilt. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

Quintal Vases received a blue ribbon for Best Hand Workmanship. It's an original design by Becky Brown of Montpelier, VT. Machine pieced, hand applique, and hand quilted. Sat. 3/5. Oops! Becky lives in Montpelier, VA, not VT. She writes, "The signage doesn't include my information about the quilt: 18th century flower vases were my inspiration. The fingers of the vase represent each of my 5 grandchildren (4 brothers and their sister) growing and blooming." Thank you, Becky!

The next two quilts were part of the Baltimore Applique Society Exhibit, Applique's Third Golden Age

Elizabeth MacCullough Hervey circa 1848-50 was made by Kelly Kout of Bowie, MD and hand-quilted by Bellweather Drygoods. The pattern is available from the Baltimore Applique Society.

Folk Fantasy was made by 65 members of the Baltimore Applique Society as a raffle quilt in 1994-95. The patterns are from Jeana Kimball's book, Nature's Chorus. 

Best In Show

Best In Show was Silk Road Sampler by Melissa Sobotka, Richardson, TX. Inspired by a vendor's ornate pillows at an Istanbul spice bazaar. 

One Big Quilt!


Grand Illusion is an original design by Beth Nufer, long-arm quilted by Clem Buzick, Brookings, OR. It is a whopping 106" x 106"! 

I'll post more pics soon.


Copyright 2016, Barbara Schaffer